Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests Recipe

We’ve made Chocolate Birds Nests in the past, but this year we changed it up…. by adding Nutella!

These Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests were a lot of fun to make with my girls.  It gets them in the kitchen with a combination of cooking and crafting.

And we also picked up a little Edible Grass this time around.  It’s easy to snip into bite-sized pieces with kitchen shears and adds a nice visual touch, but it isn’t necessary if you’re having a tough time finding it.  (And I picked mine up for half off after Easter – since these can be a fun treat all season long.)

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All our ingredients gathered and ready to go….

Since there is no actually baking involved, it’s mostly mixing and shaping and decorating, once the chocolate chips are melted.

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests 3

Melt the chocolate at half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.

Then stir in the Nutella.

(And, yes, my kids are wearing superhero costumes while we cook.  That’s how we roll at our place.)

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I slowly poured in the noodles while they stirred.

Make sure all the noodles get covered in the chocolate mixture, because that is the glue that holds everything together.

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Spray some nonstick baking spray in the muffin tins and scoop in some of the chocolate noodles.

You want to be able to shape them into nests with your fingers, so with a small indention in the center, or at least flat as opposed to hill-shaped.  If it’s too bumpy and you’re having trouble flattening it, just take some out.

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Put three eggs in the center of the nest and sprinkle a little edible grass over top, if you like.

You can see that my kids also added a few of the confetti-like bunnies that came with the edible grass.

This recipe makes 24 nests, but if that’s just too much for you, you could half the recipe.  Or share with all the neighbors.

When you first make them, the nests will be gooey and will fall apart if you try to pick them up.  They are still okay to eat, especially for anxious kids who want to try their creations, but they’re much easier to eat if you let the chocolate set first.

Put the pans in the fridge for an hour or so to help the chocolate set (because if you live in a humid place like me, that would take forever at room temperature), and then scoop them out with a spoon.  Preferably a plastic spoon so you don’t scratch the metal.

Store them in covered containers, using waxed paper to separate stacked layers.

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Chocolate Nutella Birds Nests

Ingredients:

1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup Nutella
12 oz. chow mein noodles
72 candy-coated malted milk chocolate eggs (I used Whoppers Robin Eggs)
Edible Grass, cut into 1-inch pieces (optional)

Melt the chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl at half power, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth.  Stir in the Nutella.

Pour the noodles into the chocolate mixture and stir gently until they are all fully coated.

Spray 24 muffin tins with nonstick baking spray and scoop a spoonful of the noodle mix into each tin.  Move the noodles with a spoon or your fingers so that they are shaped like a nest.

Place 3 chocolate eggs in the center of your nest while the chocolate is still slightly melted.  Sprinkle a little edible grass over the top, if desired.

Put the nests in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the chocolate to set.  Remove from the muffin tins with the help of a spoon.

Store in a closed container in the fridge, using waxed or parchment paper to separate stacked layers.

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And here’s the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Nutella Chocolate Birds Nests

Happy Eating!

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April Showers *Sprinkle Surprise* “Raining” Cupcakes

April Showers Sprinkle Surprise Raining Cupcakes from Roaming Rosie

I know:  it’s a mouthful.

Both the cupcake and the name.  But so much fun!

I love the idea of food with hidden surprises inside, and with spring coming at us full force, I wanted to do something in that vein.

Thus was born the April Showers *Sprinkle Surprise* “Raining” Cupcakes!

April Showers for the fact that it’s now April and raining.  A lot.  The day we made the cupcakes, in fact, was hounded by heavy thunderstorms.  Sprinkle Surprise because of the sprinkles hidden inside.  And Raining because the cupcakes “rain” out sprinkles like raindrops when they’re opened or bit into.

April Showers Sprinkle Surprise Raining Cupcakes from Roaming Rosie

Here are all the supplies I used.  I did use blue sugar crystal sprinkles to top some of the cupcakes, which you can see in one of the photos, just not on all of them.  In the end, I decided I preferred the way it looked without the sprinkles on top – when the icing looked like just a white fluffy cloud on top of the blue “sky” cupcakes.

The sprinkles we used to fill the cupcakes were the Wilton White Sugar Pearls.  You could use just about any kind of sprinkle here, except maybe sugar crystals, but I liked how these represented raindrops so well.  They’re one of the pricier sprinkles, too, but we didn’t use the whole container, so there’s still some left for future projects.

Oh, and to make life much easier, we used store bought cake mix and icing.  I got the Blue Velvet cake mix because it’s in stock around here during springtime, but you could always add blue food coloring to any plain cake mix to achieve the same result.

April Showers Sprinkle Surprise Raining Cupcakes from Roaming Rosie

The steps to create the hidden surprise of the raindrops/sprinkles inside the cupcakes is done after the cupcakes are baked.

Once the cupcakes are fully cooled, scoop out the center with a melon baller, but hang onto that little piece you remove.

Fill the hole in the center with your sprinkles.  Be generous here.  Add as many as will fit, because if you only put a few, then they won’t really “spill” out when you split open or bite into the cupcake.

April Showers Sprinkle Surprise Raining Cupcakes from Roaming Rosie

Take that little piece of cake you’ve removed with the melon baller and pick off some of the fluffy interior of the cake from the flatter top portion of it, to make it more of a smooth and flat piece instead of a ball.

Then put that flat piece back on top of the hole that’s filled with sprinkles.  And put aside (to discard or eat or whatever) those extra fluffy interior pieces that were removed to make room for the sprinkles.

It doesn’t have to fit perfectly – I didn’t exactly keep track of which piece went with which cupcake.  Just put a little piece on top of the sprinkles just to hold them in a little better.

April Showers Sprinkle Surprise Raining Cupcakes from Roaming Rosie

Then top the cupcakes with icing.

I put the icing into a bag with a large round icing tip to make this process quicker and easier.  If you try to spread on the icing with a knife, things could get a little messy because the icing is what holds down the piece that you cut out, trimmed, and replaced on top of the sprinkles.

At this point we added the blue sugar sprinkles to the tops of about half of the cupcakes.  Like I said, this part is up to you.

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Just make sure to remind people to eat these over a plate, since once you bite into them they will “rain” sprinkles!

Enjoy!

Please share your own baked goodies with me on my Facebook page and follow me on Pinterest for more ideas!

Happy Baking!

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Top 50+ Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas

Top 50+ Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas from RoamingRosie.com

I was about to say that I’ve got everything listed here from toddler to teen… but that’s too narrow a description. Really, if you’re looking for Easter basket gifts for anyone – whether they’re a newborn or about to leave for college – you’ll find something here.

You might even find something for yourself. :)

But what you WON’T find here is this: candy. Chocolate. Marshmallows. Sugar.

My kids will each get a chocolate Easter bunny, sure. (They’re even in the pic above.)  And probably a few jelly beans, too. But they last thing they need is a gigantic basket filled to the brim with sweets and sugar.

I also, however, don’t want to fill it with a bunch of junky toys that will break and get thrown out soon afterwards.

So I’ve compiled a list of gift ideas that all fit in an Easter basket, that aren’t made of sugar, and that are quality gifts your kids will enjoy.

If you’ve got any ideas to add to the list, please tell us in the comment section!

Happy Browsing!

Here are my Top 50+ Non-Candy Easter Basket Gift Ideas

1. If you read my blog regularly, you can probably guess what #1 will be: BOOKS. I give books for every holiday, and I certainly give Easter-themed books at Easter, BUT there are a ton of other ways you can incorporate books into gift giving. Some of my favorite interactive books to stick in an Easter basket include:

Sticker Books
Doodling Books
Wipe-Clean Books
Activity Cards
“That’s Not My…” Touchy-Feely Baby Books
There’s a Mouse About the House
Muddle and Match Imagine and Adventure
Kid Kits

2. DVD of their latest favorite movie or television show.  My girls are getting some 2-for-1 movies (2 in one case).
3. That Video Game they’ve been asking for
4. A CD or an iTunes Gift Card
5. Gift Card to their favorite clothing store
6. Gift Card to the local movie theatre
7. Disney Phone Case
8. Monogrammed iPad Case
9. Pocket Journal
10. Personalized Night Light
11. Personalized Flash Drive
12. Wooden Craft Set. Like the kind you get at Michaels or the Dollar Tree that comes with paint and markers (and is pictured above).
13. Foam Craft Set. Like #12, you can find these things at craft stores with all the pieces to make your finished product included in the set.
14. Sun Catchers and Sun Catcher Paint
15. Colored Pencils
16. Markers
17. Crayons
18. Gel Pens
19. Scarves
20. Socks. My favorites are the colorful character ones that you find in the Target bargain section.
21. Sunglasses
22. Jewelry (necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.)
23. Press on Nails
24. Make Up. Blush, eye shadow… seriously, there are soooo many sparkly and fancy (yet affordable) make up sets out there.
25. Lip Gloss. (My 3yo looooooves lip gloss!)
26. Nail Polish
27. Small LEGO sets. Also LEGO Minifigures.
28. Matchbox or Hot Wheels cars. We have a whole drawer dedicated to cars at my house. Receiving new ones as presents never gets old.
29. Erasers. These things are even great for hiding in Easter eggs. And they come in sooooo many designs – both girl and boy specific and gender neutral. I get most of mine from the Dollar Tree.
30. Puzzles. For smaller versions of puzzles, the dollar store has some really nice options.  Like the two in the photo.
31. Glow Sticks / Glow Bracelets / Glow Necklaces
32. Bubbles
33. Bookmarks
34. Stickers
35. Schleich Figurines. From dinosaurs to fairies and from jungle animals to giant castles, these things are not only versatile, they’re classic.
36. Punch Balloons. You know – those balloons on a string that you bounce all around. Keeps kids busy forever.
37. Sidewalk Chalk. Egg-shaped Sidewalk Chalk is more widely available around this time of year, too.
38. Travel Games
39. Pool Toys
40. Backyard Safari Adventure Sets. Or just a net or a bug house. I only let my kids keep their bugs or worms in their habitats for a couple of hours – max – but what they really love anyway is the hunt. And the longer they spend chasing no-see-ums around the backyard with a butterfly net – the better they’ll sleep that night.
41. Instruments. Kind of like these B. Jungle Animal Instruments Set. I’ve also seen some of those pieces for sale individually at Target.
42. P’Kolino Mess Eaters Artist Journal. My girls just received this as a birthday present and we LOVE it. Great for my little artists – and great for car rides, too. Available in Pink and Green and Blue.
43.  Budding Baker? Get them some cool Cookie Cutters.
44.  Budding Eater? Get them a cool Utensil Set.
45.  A Kid’s Water Bottle  or Personalized Sports Bottle for Teens and Tweens
46.  One of those character party cups found in the party section.  Like the Frozen ones pictured here.
47. Stuffed Animals. Could be a bunny or a chick, but don’t forget about other favorites, like that 20” Elsa doll that’s become my daughter’s new favorite or that Minecraft Plush Enderman your kid spotted at Walmart the last time you were there.
48. Card Games. Like Uno, Phase 10, Spot It and even regular playing cards. Did you know they made Princess Bride Playing Cards??? Because I just may have to make an Easter basket for myself to sneak some of these in there…
49. Flip Flops. Especially ones with cool designs or gemstones.
50. Gardening tools, gloves, and packets of seeds.
51.  A flower pot that comes with its own seeds, like these Grass Heads my kids really like.
52. Rosary Beads. If your kids don’t already have their own beads, now is a good time to gift them some.

I hope you enjoyed the list!  Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions to add!

If you’re wondering about the specific books pictured above, they are the Zoo Sticker Book, Animal Sticker Book, Magic Painting Book, 50 Easter Things to Make and Do (also reviewed here), and the Easter Bunny Flap Book (also reviewed here).

And be sure to check out my Resurrection Garden:

Easter Resurrection Garden

and Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies:

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

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Book Review: 50 Easter Things to Make and Do

50 Easter Things to Make and Do

This craft book, 50 Easter Things to Make and Do, is a really great thing to have on hand in springtime.

The title may say “Easter” and it’s certainly focused on Easter-type things, but it’s got a lot of wonderful craft ideas that are generally themed around the season of spring.

And while the crafts themselves are super cute, there are other things about the book that I also absolutely LOVE.

For example, it has the spiral binding, so it lays flat – which is handy when you’re looking from it to your project and back again.

Plus, the projects themselves have step-by-step instructions, which is great for showing children the progression of the craft from start to finish.

It’s also a great size to fit inside an Easter basket – which is how my daughter will be receiving it this year.  And since, like I mentioned, many of the projects are great to do all throughout spring and not just for Easter, we’ll be working on some of these adorable crafts all through the season.

You can get a better look at the book in my video review:

The book is out of print on my Usborne Books & More site, but you can still find used copies on Amazon.

Happy Crafting!

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Bored? Not Even Close.

Spring Break Boredom Busters | Activity Books | Roaming Rosie

Am I bored?

Not even close.

In fact, I’ve been so busy, I haven’t had the chance {as you may have noticed} to update my blog in a while.

But this Boredom Buster graphic rolled across my Facebook feed, and when I thought about how Spring Break is coming up, I was also reminded of everything I’ve got going on right now and everything that need to get done.

For example, my girls are having a birthday party soon.  In a week, in fact.  A.  WEEK.

So I’ve been busy putting together goody bags, making mermaid tails, painting sharks, organizing decorations… stuff like that.  {All of which, of course, will soon be featured here.}

And I’ve also started a new job.  Part-time, but hey, that’s still that many more hours out of the house every week.  Plus, I’m still trying to get everything organized to do my taxes.  I’ve been selling books.  And I’ve been writing again, too.  The writing part is awesome, {really, really awesome}, but it tends to be a bit consuming, too.

Thus:  not a ton of blog posts.

Well, no.

Not a ton of finished and published blog posts.  A whole bunch of partially finished ones, though.  Just sitting there waiting for me….

Anywho, my apologies for those of you that noticed my absence.  Hope you didn’t miss me too much.  :)

Oh – and if you DO need some boredom busters, you can find the books pictured above at BooksWithRosie.com.

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Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns

Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns at RoamingRosie.com

These flower shaped cinnamon buns make breakfast a little extra special.  :)

And it’s pretty quick to do with the help of store bought cinnamon rolls.

I popped those babies out of the can, formed a flower near the top of the pan {one roll in the center and 5 around it to act as petals} and then cut the remaining 2 rolls in half to use for the stem and leaf.

I was pretty happy about how much it actually resembled a flower even before I added the colored sprinkles.

Once you pull the buns out of the oven, add some colored sugar sprinkles right after spreading on the icing – otherwise the icing will start to harden just enough for the sprinkles to not stick.  You have to be kind of quick about this step, so pick out your colors ahead of time.

Now, I made these for my mom on her birthday because she is a gardener and she likes flowers…. but while I was sprinkling on the bright colors, I realized it would also make an impressive centerpiece for any springtime or Easter breakfast or brunch.

Well, that is, it would make an impressive centerpiece if you transferred the buns to a platter instead of being all lazy like me and serving it right on the cookie sheet…..

Either way:  enjoy!

And if you’re a big fan of sprinkles, check these out:

Jack O' Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Milk Sprinkles

Milk Sprinkles

Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkles Cookies

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Our Easter Resurrection Garden

Easter Resurrection Garden

The Easter Resurrection Garden is a craft that’s been floating around Pinterest for awhile, and this year, I decided to make one with my girls.

They love gardening, and physical, interactive representations of stories are a great teaching tool.

Ever since we made the Garden, my daughter has been talking about it and asking me to tell Jesus’ story every time we to out into the backyard.

Plus, it gave them an opportunity to get their hands dirty.  Pretty much an “all win” in my book.

So, here is our version of the Easter Resurrection Garden:

Easter Resurrection Garden

There are a lot of variations of this on the Net, and most of them include grass.  We used flowers instead.

That may not make it geographically correct, but it matched our garden.

Anyway, the tools (which you see above) are pretty simple:  some sort of large flower pot, a tiny flower pot, a rock, potting soil, and whatever embellishment you’re going to use, be it flowers or grass seed.

Fill your large pot with the soil, dig a bit of a hole to make room for the tiny pot, lay the tiny pot on its side, and cover it with the soil so that only the top of the pot is showing.  This represents the cave.  Place the rock near the mouth of the cave and add your embellishments.

Easter Resurrection Garden

My oldest daughter added even more flowers to her Resurrection Garden.  She wanted some pink in there to go with the purple.

But, no matter how you decorate your garden, the main point is that you can use it to illustrate Jesus’ resurrection by removing the rock to show the empty “cave.”

I suggest reading a few Easter books, too, which is what we did.  It was nice to go back and forth from our Garden to the colorful illustrations of the Easter story.  Like these:

Have you tried this craft?  Please share your stories with us!

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